Why Aren’t More People Claiming Government Benefits?

Link: https://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/why-arent-more-people-claiming-government-benefits/


When the Biden administration expanded the Child Tax Credit in 2021 with direct cash payments of up to $3,600 to alleviate child poverty, millions of the most vulnerable families never received the automatic payments because they didn’t have a digital connection with the Internal Revenue Service through a previous income tax filing online. The burden was on those families to seek out the public benefit.

To boost awareness, the government launched a messaging campaign to let families know that up to $3,600 a year was waiting for them. But months later, millions of dollars were still unclaimed.

A new study led by Wharton marketing professor Wendy De La Rosa pinpoints the reason why so many Americans left money on the table: The large amount seemed like an abstraction because people don’t think about money on a yearly basis. Through a series of experiments, the researchers found that people were more likely to collect the money if it was conveyed as a monthly or weekly amount — $300 or $69 — similar to how they budget.

Author(s): Angie Basiouny

Publication Date: 11 Oct 2022

Publication Site: Knowledge @ Wharton

Ed Slott: Child Tax Credit Is ‘a Mess!’



The Internal Revenue Service issued Tuesday a revised Fact Sheet and frequently asked questions on the 2021 child tax credit and advance child tax credit to help eligible families properly claim the credit when they prepare and file their 2021 tax return.

Tax expert Ed Slott of Ed Slott & Co. told ThinkAdvisor on Tuesday in an email that the child tax credit situation this year is “a mess! Some people may end up paying a tax pro more than the credit!”

Others, Slott said, “may still pay a tax pro only to end up returning money they already received. Advance payments can always be tricky when it’s time to reconcile.”

Author(s): Melanie Waddell

Publication Date: 1 Feb 2022

Publication Site: Think Advisor